"Salon Solarium" has choreographers moving toward the light | Dance Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

"Salon Solarium" has choreographers moving toward the light 

Dance Union's flash of inspiration at Fasseas White Box Theater

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There's creeping age in pedestrian movements in Kate Corby's Passing.

There's creeping age in pedestrian movements in Kate Corby's Passing.

Matthew Gregory Hollis

Here's a new one: take a lighting design, ask four choreographers to build a dance apiece around it, then put them together on a single program. For this month's incarnation of Dance Union, the boundary-pushing series founded by Ayako Kato, designer Francesca Bourgault specified colors, placement, and fade in/fade out sequences for a light plan, which she sent on to the participating choreographers. The results can be seen in "Salon Solarium—Dancing to Lighting."

Kate Corby panicked when she saw Bourgault's design; it said nothing to her. So she mostly ignored it in creating her piece (a duet that will ultimately become part of Passing, an evening-length work about life stages, to be performed by her own Kate Corby & Dancers). Corby's choreography won't be synced with the lighting until it goes into tech. But at a studio rehearsal—under fluorescents—it evoked the creep of aging through pedestrian movements that almost imperceptibly morphed as they were repeated. A waggle of both upraised hands, for instance, eventually transitions into waggling butts.

Inspired by Austrian proto-expressionist painter Egon Schiele, Michael Estanich of RE|Dance has created Inside & Under, while Heather Hartley contributes Glow, which examines "the cycle that keeps us going and trying." The Space/Movement Project will improvise to Bourgault's design.

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